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Probiotics Boost Children’s Health

by Joe Lawrence November 24th, 2017 | Children's Health
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SONY DSCThe start of the school year and the approaching winter months often mean the beginning of cold and flu season. Our tiny little petri dishes are getting sniffles, ear infections, and everything else. Although, there is no way to completely cure these issues, there is a way to help prevent them.

Probiotics are the unsung heroes of immune system boosting. They introduce good bacteria into the body that help to digest food and ward off the bad bacterium that cause us and our children to get sick. These good bacteria go a long way to keeping the digestive system healthy.

Most probiotics come from the bacteria groups Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. These microorganisms have the power to protect the intestinal lining preventing bad bacteria from getting into the body. They are found normally in our bodies, but are killed when we take antibiotics along with the bad germs. Breast fed children have larger populations of these bacterium compared to those who are formula fed. Some theorize this is a major contributor to the reason why breast fed children tend to be healthier.

Research has shown these good bacteria groups to prevent diarrhea and urinary tract infections. There is little evidence to dispute this point; however, many others claim numerous other benefits to probiotics. For example, Italian researchers did a study with children and the reduction of throat and ear infections. The control grouping discovered no change in infection rate, but the children taking the probiotics had a 65% reduction in infections over a six month period. And there were zero dropouts and no negative side effects noted in any of the test subjects.

Although, this research is not widely accepted in the United States, there is nothing refuting it either. Some other similar claims of how probiotics can help are by reducing the chances of infantile eczema, constipation, and the rotavirus. There is a believed reduction in respiratory disease and the common cold among numerous other claims.

To get these bacteria populations going in you and your child, there are a couple of options. For starters, you can ask your pediatrician to recommend an over the counter supplement. Asking the workers at a health food or vitamin store also may yield the results you’re looking for. We have found through our own personal research that the ones requiring refrigeration are the best for our kids. You can get these into their system through food as well by consuming yogurt but the amounts present in food are not the same as you would get through a supplement.

To help our children get through the flu season and potentially even set them up for the long haul, you should look into increasing their probiotic levels.

(Photo courtesy of Marcelo Mokrejs)

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All health and medical information is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to replace the medical advice or treatment of your healthcare professional.